An Open Letter By Sandhana
I wanted to write this early in the morning but didn’t get time.
FYI, I am 25yr old working female. So I was traveling from Bangalore to Pune this morning. In the check-in line there was this guy behind. The Indigo counter attendant called both of us together as there was little time.
I got my boarding pass first. When the attendant asked this guy for ticket booking the guy said something which caught my attention.
“Can you please give me a seat surrounded by men?”
The attendant looked at him amused just like me, but he looked dead serious about it. After checking, the attendant did give him a seat next to a man and we started walking towards the gate. Curiously I asked him what was that about and here is how the conversation went about.
Me: “Don’t mind me asking, but what was that surrounded by men thing about?”
Him: “I always do that when I am travelling anywhere. Cannot risk it.
Me: “Risk what?”
Him: “Being accused as a molester or FIR being filed against me for an unintentional touch or shoulder brush or a picture of me being shared on fb with an essay written about how I was trying to touch some girl going viral”
Me: “Don’t you think you are overreacting?”
Him(still dead serious): “Not at all, there are many things at stake, once you go viral or FIR is filed, first thing is you lose your job immediately. Public, your company, neighbors all become the supreme court judge and consider you guilty without listening to your side of the story. And there is hardly a chance to get a good job again once you are that much screwed.”
Me: “Is this due to the Zaira Wasim incident which happened yesterday?”
Him: “Actually no, I have been doing this since my college days in Pune. Around 5-6 yrs back I was going to JM road in PMT bus. I was standing and the driver applied brakes suddenly, including me 4-5 more people lost their balance and fell, I fell on a girl and my hand were on her breast, next moment I received a tight slap before I could hardly regain my balance. All ladies around created a huge issue and there were men too ganging up on me, I received 3 more slaps from passengers in that bus and was made to apologize. Since then I take extra precaution, I always keep my hands in my pockets while I am out so that a simple unintentional brush or touch won’t get me beaten up or render me jobless. You can call it overreaction but doodh ka jala chaach bhi phuk phuk kar pita hai(Once Bitten, Twice Shy)“
We talked for a while, but I understood one thing from him, he was dead serious about being careful, his hands were in pocket all the time, he didn’t even smile once, didn’t ask my name or any other casual questions even though I was being quite friendly with him.
So the thing I want to say is that is this what feminism all about, scaring guys to the point where their social behavior is altered. ? I request girls to please take a note before writing anything about anyone on social media or creating a ruckus in public that the repercussions for the guy can be very drastic and cannot be undone.
Edit 1: I find some comments asking me how this is related to feminism and that my experience has nothing to do with feminism. I deliberately used the word feminism because feminazi or pseudo-feminism are negative-corollaries of feminism. You cannot cherry pick from the word feminism when it benefits you and then discard it when wrong happens under its guise.
Such type of comments trouble me. FYI I was too a member of the this feminist brigade where there was a point when I began hating all men and considered them potential sexual predators due to some of my experiences. But isn’t this the same as saying all women are gold diggers just because some women are. I agree women are oppressed by men throughout ages and even in current generation but its wrong to paint everyone with the same brush.